Foetus found during dead journalist's autopsy



Koderma (J'khand): A 10 to 12 week-old foetus was found during autopsy of the Delhi-based journalist Nirupama Pathak, whose death at her home at Tilaya near here is being suspected as a case of honour killing, Koderma civil surgeon B Mohan said on Wednesday.

However, the viscera and the uterus containing the foetus was not preserved by the team of three doctors who conducted the autopsy, he said.

It was also found that the three doctors -- Ashish Kumar, Shiv Kumar and K B Singh, had not mentioned the time of the strangulation which caused asphyxia leading to the death of the 22 year-old journalist, he said, adding an explanation has been sought from them.

Mohan said more than three persons were likely to have been involved in the strangulation, and not only her mother Subha or any other single person, a fact which should have been mentioned in the post mortem report.

Subha, suspected to have a hand in Nirupama's death, has been arrested as the post-mortem report conflicted with the version given by the family and is now in judicial custody.

Koderma Superintendent of Police G Kranthi Kumar said the police would soon question Pathak's fiance Priyabhanshu Ranjan, who is also a journalist in Delhi, and her friends.

"Three police teams have been sent to Mumbai, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to interrogate Pathak's friends including Ranjan," he told agency adding her room in Delhi would be searched and her roommate interrogated.

A team of forensic experts yesterday conducted investigations in the room where the body was found, and collected some clues, official sources said.

Forensic and CID officials collected documents, including letters from the house and traced some mobile phone numbers to which the family had called on the day of her death, on April 29.

Police teams have been sent to Mumbai and Gonda in Uttar Pradesh, where Pathak's father Dharmesh is a bank manager, and other places to investigate his whereabouts and those of his two sons Shailesh and Salil on the day of the murder.

The journalist, who hailed from a Brahmin family, was to marry a person of her choice from a lower caste -- which was not approved by her family. The secret marriage was scheduled for March 6 in Delhi but a letter from her father prompted her to postpone it and rush to Tilaya.

PTI